One virtue of Foundations of a Free Society is that it offers an in-depth look at Rand’s political thought. And the book helps us understand how her distinctive moral case for a free society relates to (and contrasts with) the views of other philosophers who are seen as advocates for liberty.
Elan Journo talked with one of the book’s coeditors, Gregory Salmieri, and, among many topics, they discussed the issue of how to situate Rand’s ideas on the intellectual landscape. Some of the topics touched on:
- What was Rand’s case for capitalism, and how does it compare with the conservative argument that a “rising tide lifts all boats”?
- How does Rand’s approach relate to the views of the libertarian philosopher Robert Nozick?
- What was Rand’s view of anarchism?
- Rand held as a matter of principle that the initiation of physical force was morally wrong, while libertarians speak of a non-aggression principle; what sets these views apart?
- Rand held that “Intellectual freedom cannot exist without political freedom; political freedom cannot exist without economic freedom; a free mind and a free market are corollaries.” Why did she hold this view?